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November 26, 2009

Everywhere I go people ask me, “What’s in your kitchen? What’s your secret?”

The secret is…there is no secret!  I know that whatever I put in my body affects me, in both good and bad ways.  You should love food and learn all the ways nutrition can help you, not hurt you.  You should not be afraid to enjoy all the foods you love.  I do!

Feeling guilty about eating cheese is no way to live.  Eating a huge cheese wheel for lunch is no way to live either!  Balance, moderation, and attitude are the key ingredients to the true pleasure of eating.  I am smart about my food choices but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what is and isn’t good for my body.  Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables should be the majority of any diet.

Looking good starts on the inside.  I want to look and feel great, who doesn’t?  I want people to be guessing my age for the rest of my life.  My lifestyle and nutrition are the secrets to looking my best, from the inside out.  Let’s face it, if you eat greasy pizza all the time, you will start to look like a greasy pizza!  If you are well hydrated and fuel your body with healthy food, you will look fresh, well rested, and your skin will glow.

It’s a fact.  People who eat well look better.  Smart nutrition keeps you young.  A diet rich in polyphenols can protect against those nasty free radicals that want to damage and age your skin.  Polyphenols antioxidants are found in things like blueberries, spinach, olive oil, and walnuts.  I want to have all of my organs with me for the rest of my life, so I feed my machine with the fuel it needs to keep going and going and going…

So, what do I actually eat on a daily basis?  Well, today for example, I had a huge glass of water to get things going.  Then, I had coffee with vanilla soymilk (I’m lactose intolerant).  After that, I made a smoothie with frozen peaches and raspberries, ground flaxseed, banana, soymilk, and lots of blueberries.  I like to add something called “green machine” which is a vitamin powder that has tons of vitamins and minerals in it.  I share it with my family.  I’ll also have a little cup of cereal (I like Oatmeal Crisp) or oatmeal.  Irish steel cut oatmeal is the best.  I like to put natural peanut butter or cinnamon and honey on mine.

I wake up starving and consider breakfast very important.  A lot of my clients do not share my love of breakfast and that’s ok.  If you don’t want to eat first thing in the morning, that’s alright.  Just don’t wait too long to eat that by lunchtime you are starving and the only thing that will satisfy your hunger is a double cheeseburger.  And fries.  And a Coke.  And a cookie…

Now that it’s getting a little colder, I like to heat up some soup for lunch.  I just had leftover stew and it was amazing.  Turkey, carrots, mushrooms, red potatoes, celery, onions, and leeks.  I also like minestrone, Tuscan white bean and kale, chicken noodle, and mushroom barley.  I make stews, soups, and chili in large amounts so that there is always a lunch or dinner ready to go.  I do a turkey chili that I swear is better the next day. It’s one of my all-time favorites.  Quick, easy, delicious, and HEALTHY.

turkey chili


1 pack of chili seasoning like McCormicks

2 lbs ground turkey

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 large can kidney beans

1 large can pinto beans

1 red onion (if you like)

shredded lowfat cheese- any kind

a LITTLE beer-yes trust me Corona or Presidente work best

2 limes

Lots of garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper, mixed up salt (I never really measure anything, I go on taste)

Drain Beans

Brown the turkey in big skillet

Dice onion and throw in with turkey

In big pot bring to boil beans and tomatoes

Add chili seasoning to turkey and mix really well…add everything together in pot.  Roll limes on counter then squeeze juice into pot.  (Little trick)

Add a little cheese and beer to chili (yes trust me still)

Turn down heat and simmer

Add spices as you like

Let sit for awhile and enjoy with a little lowfat sour cream or salsa!

If I get hungry during the day I’ll eat a Fuji apple, they are my favorite.  I also love hummus, almonds, avocado, and Greek yogurt for snacks.

I am never without a snack pack.  In my car, or my bag I carry a little plastic baggie with almonds, dark chocolate, and cheerios.  My upcoming book is called A Hungry Woman is a Dangerous Thing.  I think we can all agree that this is true!  When I am hungry I cannot concentrate and I become irritable. If I wait too long to eat, I end up eating whatever is convenient.  Taco Bell is constantly calling my name.  Being prepared and meal planning is very important for weight control.

Dinner is always changing. I like to enjoy restaurants and entertain friends and family.  I love the sounds and smells of cooking!

I love spinach pasta.  Chicken sausage with mushrooms.  Salmon with couscous.  Roast chicken with rosemary and lemon.  Vegetable stir fry with pad tai.  I am adventurous with food because I really believe it is one of the simple pleasures in life.  You don’t have to be a master in the kitchen to have a delicious wholesome meal.  Do your best and try to eat as many whole and different foods as you can.

Here’s a tip: If it comes in a box, don’t eat it.  Packaged food has tons of extra sugar and salt to keep it looking pretty.   If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, do you really want to put it in your body?

I try to eat organic, free-range products as much as I possibly can.  It can be expensive, but I believe it’s worth it.  So much of our food supply is filled with chemicals and hormones.  Unfortunately, the bigger, better, faster American way has created a health crisis in our country.  Start paying attention to labels and become aware of where your food is coming from.  Local is always your best bet.

Here are some more tips to remember:

1.  HYDRATE.  First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water.  It will jump start your body and get the digestive system going.

2.  INSURE.  Take a multi-vitamin.  Keep your bases covered.  Make sure you take it with food!

3.  EAT BREAKFAST.  It doesn’t have to be first thing, just makes sure it happens before the hunger monster gets to you.

4.  SHOP AHEAD.  Have a well stocked kitchen and a food plan.  It keeps you on track and eliminates the “I need to eat right now and I don’t care what it is!” pitfalls.

5.  SLOW DOWN!  Focus on each bite.  Chewing your food helps in digestion.  PUT YOUR UTENSILS DOWN BETWEEN EACH BITE.

6.  STOP EATING WHEN YOU ARE FULL.  Your stomach is actually smaller than you think…about the size of your fist.


8.  ALWAYS BE PREPARED.  MAKE SNACK PACKS.  I like almonds, dark chocolate chips and dried cranberries together.  YUM

9.  DEPRIVATION IS NO FUN, ENJOY FOOD!  If I feel like cheese and crackers I have a little. And I make sure its GOOD cheese!

10.  GET AWAY FROM PROCESSED FOODS.  Why would you want to put those chemicals in your body?

11.  THE MORE COLOR THE BETTER.  Think of bright blueberries, eggplant, spinach, peppers.  Colors mean vitamins and minerals…make your plate as colorful as possible!

12.  COCKTAILS HAVE CALORIES…but a little red wine can be very good for you.  Stick to the two glass max rule and your skin will thank you too.

Make your health a priority in your life.  That includes exercise.  Now, go for a walk, then enjoy a delicious meal!


by Nikki Noya